Say hello to COLOR, Spinach Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Poppy Seed Dressing style! Whether you need a healthy lunch or are looking for a salad to bring to a party that—this is critical—people actually want to eat, this strawberry spinach salad with poppy seed dressing and feta is the recipe for you!
Strawberry spinach plate of mixed greens is my informal begin to spring on the grounds that—and I believe it’s significant that we speak the truth about this—a March or early-April spring is definitely not a genuine article when you live in the upper Midwest.
Gradually, notwithstanding, my little yard becomes greener, and I notice my serving of mixed greens desires moving away from warm fixings like the lentils and broiled vegetables in this Lentil Salad with Roasted Cauliflower or the sautéed potatoes in this Pea Salad to ones that are particularly lighter and more brilliant: strawberries, poppy seeds, feta.Another impetus for my emotional begin to “spring” (and I am not in any event, going to imagine that I am embarrassed about this): the strawberry poppy seed plate of mixed greens at Panera returns. Gracious cheerful day!
The best ever Spinach Strawberry Salad with balsamic poppy seed dressing, pecans, and feta. Beautiful, healthy, and always a crowd pleaser!
For the Strawberry Spinach Salad:
- ¾ cup raw pecans
- ½ small red onion very thinly sliced
- 10 ounces fresh baby spinach I also love a 50/50 arugula and spinach blend
- 1 quart strawberries hulled and quartered (about 1 pound)
- ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese buy the block-style feta, not pre-crumbled; the texture is much better
For the Poppy seed Dressing:
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Toast the pecans: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the pecans smell fragrant and the center of a pecan is tan when the pecan is broken in half. (Do not walk away from the oven in the last few minutes of cooking. This is when nuts love to burn.) Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop.
- Place the sliced onions in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad (this keeps their flavor but removes the harsh onion bite).
- Prepare the dressing: In small mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients—vinegar, oil, poppy seeds, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper—until well combined. (Alternaively, you can shake the ingredients together in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid).
- Assemble the salad: Place the spinach in a great big serving bowl. Add the strawberries. Drain the red onion and add it as well. Drizzle about half of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat the leaves. Assess the amount of dressing. You want the spinach leaves to be nicely moistened but not swimming in dressing. Add a little more if needed to suit your preferences. Add the feta and pecans. Toss lightly to combine. Serve immediately, with extra dressing on the side as desired.
- Dress the salad as shortly before serving as you can. If you don’t plan to eat it all right away, dress only what you plan to eat right away, then store the leftover, undressed salad in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Refrigerate leftover dressing in an airtight container (a jar is perfect) for up to 5 days, then shake before serving.
- Nutrition is an estimate and has been calculated with two-thirds of the dressing, as you likely will not need all of it for the salad.